Tuesday, 15 October 2019

A few questions that have come up

A couple questions that have ticked in over the past week or two.
If you've asked questions in the blog comments, I'll try to answer here, since try as I might, Blogger refuses to let me post any replies. No idea why, other than Google being evil I guess.


Will there be more "Gothic scifi" army lists for Squad Hammer?

I'd like to, but I am looking seriously at redoing the rules to be more in the vein of Hammer of Democracy.
That doesn't mean a new book or anything, just incorporating some of the better parts of that (such as the support points mechanic) as well as adding more options.

So doing more army lists before doing that would probably not be time well spent.
I do want to make "gothic scifi human army" and "space creepy crawlies" lists for sure.

Five Klicks updates?

After several takes on how to do the encounter tables with modifiers or different numbers or types of dice, I am taking the path to have a separate terrain and encounter table for each of the three regions.

That both seems cooler, will be easier to work with, will allow future expansions to be slotted in if we want to do like an abandoned science facility or something to play in and I think will be more fun from the players perspective too.

The Outlands enemies are almost done, then I'll finish up the city sequence.

Five Parsecs updates?

The update to the Patron mechanic is funded, so that will go up soon.

If you guys want an updated Enemy table and Loot table, make a Paypal donation at nordicweaselgames@icloud.com
When donations reach 30 dollars, the Enemy table gets updated and 60 gets the Loot table.

Patreon?

Talk of a patreon has come up and I'm pondering the idea.
If I did it, it would be keyed specifically to 5 Parsecs/Leagues/Klicks/whatever to create content or updates monthly.

Stay tuned.

Dreams of Dragons?

Soon. Soon.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Updates and news.

The next Micro Pack is available for Five Leagues.
In pack 3, you get to track down an ogre that has been bothered the villagers. Might even make a friend out of it (or get eaten!)

This pack is 3 pages (4 with the cover) and 1 whole dollar.
As a test, this time it is NOT Pay What You Want, so I can see if people prefer a bit more meat or if they prefer shorter but potentially free.

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/291132/Five-Leagues-Micro-Pack-3 

If you didn't get them yet, make sure to get our other recent Five Leagues goodies:

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/289630/Five-Leagues-Micro-Pack-2 

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/288974/Five-Leagues-MicroPack-1

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/288973/Five-Leagues-Scenario-1-The-Sunken-Temple

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/286930/Roads-well-traveled-A-Five-Leagues-expansion

* * * * *

Five Klicks is proceeding as planned, if a bit slowly.
If you make sure you have the most up to date version, you'll see the updated weapon lists as well as terrain and set up mechanics for the Outlands.

This week, I am hoping to have the new Enemy tables for that region as well.

* * * * *

Five Parsecs players should make sure they have downloaded the most up to date versions of From Home and Salvage Crew, to see all the goodies that were added.

I have a rash of plans I want to do to update the game and in particular, over time, fold the different Parsecs editions back into a single game that allows a variety of mission types.
Stay tuned for information on that.



* * * * *
FIVE PARSECS TABLE UPGRADE

We're going to do another upgrade round and see how it goes.

The goal is to upgrade the tables of the game, namely:

1: Redo the Patron table to add more unique effects such as patrons that are more or less easily pleased, higher risk/reward patrons, patrons that operate on multiple worlds etc.

Basically make the Patron aspect of the game more interesting and a bigger component.

2: Upgrade the Enemy table.

This will include both adding a few new enemies, but the big draw will be building in some more variation to results (enemies with variation in support weapons etc.) and adding some special rules and conditions to some enemies (similar to Five Leagues).

3: Upgrade the Loot table.

Combine the Salvage and From Home loot tables into one table and add 10 or so new items to it.

If possible, I’d like to also add an option to obtain prototype or rare weapons on a sub-table.


So that's the pitch.
Like last time, we'll do this through a voluntary funding mechanism. 
Basically, if you want to get these new things send me money and I make game-stuff happen.

Easy enough no ? Last time, people overwhelmingly preferred to just use Paypal so as a test, we're not bothering with any crowd funding thing. 

So steer your money cannon to nordicweaselgames@icloud.com and if I get 100 dollars from the fans, you get the new goodies. 
(please note do NOT send to my old gmail address, if you had sent donations to it before that are unclaimed, please cancel those and just forward them here instead)

If I get a bit more, I'll throw in some extra stuff for you lot, such as more enemies or items to find.

If I don't get the amount, I'll see where we ended up and do a proportional amount: 40 dollars gets you the new Patron table, 70 gets you the Enemies as well.

Easy peasy? Yeah, I hope so.

* * * * *

Monday, 30 September 2019

Updates and news

Five Parsecs:

The update project was generously funded, mostly through private Paypal donations.

As such, I uploaded the new versions of From Home and Salvage Crew this weekend and hope to have Bug Hunt and Gang Warfare updated this week.
Hope you enjoy the new stuff and have a blast.

* * * * *
Five Klicks:

Today's update gives the terrain and conditions tables for Outlands battles.
These are fights taking place in relatively "normal" circumstances, near the settlement.

The rules also receive the Suspicious Activities mechanic, offering markers on the table to go investigate.
They may offer a small reward, nothing at all or a nasty critter.
However, if the Enemy gets to them first, they may get reinforcements, forcing you to deal with them or risk facing a larger enemy force.

* * * * *
Other stuff:

I am working as hard as I can to get Dreams of Dragons to the beta-stage.
Hopefully this week. I really want to get this out there, so you guys can tear it apart.

I've received a few questions about solo play and I must admit at least initially, it's not really a concern, though of course with something like Mythic, you can make any RPG a solo game.

Reception of Five Leagues stuff have been a bit mixed. People who I've talked to have appreciated more stuff, but it seems people would prefer several items bundled into one expansion pack, compared to a load of tiny things.
That's fair. We'll continue experimenting but I'll have something for you in October.

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Five Parsecs update

A few people have requested updates to the Five Parsecs series of games, especially in light of Five Leagues 2nd edition.

As I am already in the mindset, working on Five Klicks, that’s certainly a possibility but it raises a question:

Doing rules updates don’t earn any income. It doesn’t seem to correspond to more sales or even better reviews. 
Maybe gamers are just used to broken rules, I don’t know. But with my wife’s student loans coming out of deferment soon, working for free is something I can’t really justify.

So here’s what we’re going to do:
I am going to tell you what updates I am ready to make and then you are going to pay me to make them.

Easy right?

First the rules:

For all four Five Parsecs titles (From Home, Gang, Salvage and Bug) I will:

  • Update the character creation sections to generally make starting characters a bit more capable. This includes changing half point stat bonuses to full points, increasing credit and XP amounts a little etc.

  • Each game will have at least one new enemy added to its encounter tables.

  • Each game will have two D6 tables added for encounters, allowing the chance of unexpected battle conditions or items on the battle field.

  • Each game will have a “Five Leagues” style Story Point mechanic added.

  • Each game will have a “Five Leagues” style “Seize the Initiative” roll added.

  • The table of contents will be updated with clickable links to take you to the respective rules sections.

How will you pay for it? 

You people, the fans, will pay me a collective 125 dollars to carry out these updates for all four game titles. 
That’s 25 dollars for the basic work plus 25 per game title.

I have created a Gofundme page to collect the money.
Since I know some people prefer not dealing with additional websites, you can also simply send the money directly through PayPal at nordicweaselgames@icloud.com 

When that total amount has come in, everyone gets the updates.

If there’s not enough money, I’ll put the updates into Five Parsecs From Home and the rest will follow at an unspecified future date.
If there’s excess money, it will help fund the development of future games. If we go way over, I’ll throw in some extra goodies at a rate of one “goodie” per 25 or 50 dollars.

These may be extra encounters, new loot items, more ideas ported over from 5L or other things I can think of, but will be relatively small scale.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Game updates and new material

In case you don't get email from the Vault, you may have missed a few news items.

New releases:

* We've released two "Micro-Packs" for Five Leagues.
Each of these is a small Pay What You Want item that can be easily slotted into a campaign.

The goal is the sort of thing you can read over on break at work and be inspired to come home and game.

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/288974/Five-Leagues-MicroPack-1?src=newest

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/289630/Five-Leagues-Micro-Pack-2?src=newest

* Five Leagues has also received a new scenario: The Sunken Temple.
Usable in any campaign, this is the sort of thing that will give you a nice afternoon of gaming or a couple of evenings.
Track down a flooded temple and find some nice loot at the end.

This is more of a traditional adventure, compared to the typical encounter tables, so I am curious how people will react to it.

Five-Leagues-Scenario-1-The-Sunken-Temple

* * * * *
Game updates:

* Five Parsecs Salvage Crew has received a couple of updates, easing up the rather punishing game economy a little.
As usual, change log on the final page. All you need to do is download your game again.

* Five Klicks has an update as well, adding the (proper) character creation system.
Some of the bonuses rolled may change with further development of course, especially as new things are added.

Give it a spin and let me know how it looks.

* * * * *
Behind the scenes:

* Dreams of Dragons is clocking in around 180 pages currently.
The beta for this will have more content than a lot of finished games you bought this year.

The beta will be sans art, except for a world map so you can tell where you're going.


Saturday, 14 September 2019

Five Klicks updates

I meant to get the character creation stuff up already, but I realized what I had was kind of dull, so took it apart to rewrite.

Here's what it will likely look like:

Every squad member will have an Origin roll similar to Five Parsecs, determining where they came from in the setting.
The second roll will determine their Training. This may involve actual military training or, more likely, being part of some group surviving in the wilderness. They may have been an ash merchant, hung with a nomad gang etc.

These will be similar to the tables in Five Parsecs, offering various stats and benefits.

The third table will be an Event table, quite a bit longer than the other two.
Depending on "experience" a starting character may roll 1-3 times here, while brand new "scrubs" won't roll at all.
The results here will give you things that happened to the character. They were in a big battle, found something cool, almost got eaten by a monster.
Some things will add benefits, some may add a penalty, some will just be for flavor.

Magic in Dreams of Dragons

So a brief look at the magic system in Dreams of Dragons, since I hear the kids are all about wizards.


First and foremost, the core of the magic system should seem quite familiar to players of Drakar och Demoner or the original Magic world:

Each spell is a skill, which is trained like any other.
Casting spells requires a skill check and depletes magic points.

When you cast a spell, you select the Effect Level (EL) you want, which is used to determine damage, size of target, healing etc.
You can also burn EL's to increase the range and duration.

This allows us to have a single "Fire" spell instead of f.x. having a multitude of interchangeable attack spells that just vary slightly in damage, range etc.


The higher the EL, the harder the skill check of course and the more magic points are expended.
This allows "utility" spell casting to be used quite a lot during a scenario, while big, "screw this guy in particular" spells will be harder and more limited.


In terms of setting logic, spells are typically taught from big, ancient Librams: Dusty tomes containing all the permutations and logic interpretations of how a given spell operates.
A single Libram may hold only 4-6 spells as each takes hundreds of pages.

When your character is created, they select one Libram they were educated in at the academy and you have those spells.

"Learning" a spell is the process of your character understanding it and fitting it into their own world view. Your own spell book then is basically like taking notes in class.

Characters can learn from other spell books as well, but its a slower process because first you have to figure out and understand that wizards magical paradigm.


Of course not all wizards are book-worms. Village witches, tribal shaman etc. don't learn this way.
Instead, they use what the educated wizards somewhat derisively call Cantrips:

These are the same spells but are basically pre-configured: A Cantrip is learned at a specific EL and is always used in the same fashion without any choice over how the levels are spent.
Think of it as a single practical application of a scientific formula.

This allows the spell to be taught in a matter of weeks (instead of months) and to people without the patience (or inclination) towards memorizing and analyzing a 200 page treatise on the nature of the ethereal cosmos.


So there you have it. Magic. Woot.

Questions?

Monday, 2 September 2019

Dreams of Dragons combat



Alright, so a bit of Dreams of Dragons talk. Combat will have 2-3 "levels" really. At its most basic, its fairly similar to BRP combat:

Roll to hit, roll to parry, take damage, subtract armor, hope you have HP left.

We're actually leaving hit locations out of the beta, but there'll be something else very clever to kind of take that place and solve the gameplay problem that hit locations solve. 
That's it though. 
You can explain that in like 2 minutes and be on your way. 

Players who want more will have a ton of options available:
If you want things like characters getting battered from hits on their armor to throwing your sword to weapon damage types to fairly in-depth rules for combat with miniatures etc. that's all going to be there, but separated out into optional sections so you can "build" things up. 
Practically, I expect that people will either run JUST the base system, base system plus one or two extra options or the full enchilada. 

Faithful to both Drakar and mid 80s gaming, there's of course going to be big ass weapon and armor lists with pointy-bits-on-sticks.
Who wants a game where a winged spear is not clearly distinct from a partisan? :-)
There's story reasons for having all that junk too: It helps make encounters more interesting, you can have specific groups or characters favor particular weapons etc.

The goal here is that you can just burn through combat if you understand how to make a skill check, but if you want to get crunchy, there'll be ample stuff to work with.


Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Dreams of Dragons

Just a mock up for the beta, the final version will have original artwork.


So I’ve alluded to an RPG project we are working on and I think it’s safe now to share at least a little bit more about it.

The project is titled Dreams of Dragons.

As a few of you guessed, the project is based off the venerable Swedish game Drakar och Demoner
BRP / Runequest derivative with some unique qualities of its own and its legs somewhat firmly planted in a kitchen sink fantasy with a sort of common-sense Nordic sensibility. 
That does not mean it will be a strict clone, but rather we are using it as a starting point to achieve our goals.

* * *

Thematically, this is a reach back to a gaming style that has become a bit over-looked, but which we believe still has adherents.
Roleplaying tends to be dominated now by either narrative-driven story-game experiences, survival-focused dungeon crawlers or meticulously balanced tactical systems.

We’re not setting out to create “gonzo” or “weird fantasy”.
There’ll be no endless dungeon levels or anime heroes. 
We’re not trying to be offend your grandma or to make you have a deep realization about interpersonal relations.

Instead we hope it will be a game where Tolkien’s Strider and Edding’s Sparhawk may feel at home, adventuring to the tune of a Blind Guardian song, while scenes from a Michael Whelan or Angus McBride painting play out.

Those are somewhat lofty aspirations and we hope we can achieve them with your help.

* * *

What is the game system going to look like then?

Mechanically, it’s a skill-driven system using a D20 roll-under system. 
There are no character classes. Instead once you have created your character (a fairly quick process) you are free to pursue any activities you are interested in.
Skills improve slowly as you use them, reflecting your characters actions. 
If you want to master something, you must train hard or seek out an instructor.

Combat is gritty without being excessively lethal.
A simple action system with attacks, parries and hit points that don’t escalate out of control.

Magic is skill driven with the ability to cast spells at increasing levels of power, granting players a lot of flexibility without endless lists of “cure tiny wounds”, “cure small wounds”, “cure somewhat bigger wounds” etc.

Miniatures will be catered for with simple but robust rules for their use, whether you prefer playing on a grid or wargaming style with a measuring tape.

Complexity wise, we’re aiming for something with more meat to it than something like OpenQuest or most OSR games, but without being as involved as Runequest or GURPS.
Most players should be able to pick up how to play in a single session.

More interesting features include a “Hero” system, allowing players to gain powerful abilities if they prove themselves, Orders and organizations to join from the mundane to the mystical and the chance to become a messenger of the gods with all that entails. 
Backing that up will be rules for overland travel, mass warfare so you can lead armies to save the kingdom, creating your own magical items and of course a huge array of creatures to role play as.

The rules should be sufficiently compatible with other BRP games that you can easily use creatures and monsters from games like OpenQuest or Runequest with very little difficulty. 

* * *

The aim is a one-book game, with the possibility of further books or later expansion down the road.
This book will include multiple magic systems and the sprawling campaign setting of Erehwesle to play in, with everything from degenerate lizard men, war torn battlefields and sea knights to crusading minotaurs and animal worshipping imperialists. 
There’s centaurs and cat people and… ducks? Yeah. Definitely ducks.

The setting will be supported with character creation options for the different people and critters of the world, allowing you to make characters that feel right at home immediately.

We will be doing a beta test for the game.
This will function the same way as past Nordic Weasel beta tests have worked:

The beta version will a fully playable game, though without a lot of the fancier stuff (mass combat f.x.) and some with some sections such as the bestiary heavily reduced.
When you buy the final game, you will then get a discount equal to the cost of the beta copy.
This way when you put money down, there’s a game to get stuck into right away instead of kickstarting for stuff that may never be finished.

As with any other Nordic Weasel title, updates, corrections and improvements will be added even after the final game is released.
We’ve all bought a game in PDF and been irritated that there’s obvious mistakes from years ago.

* * *

When will all this go down?
Hard to say because this has become a huge project, but hopefully very soon.
The version on my hard drive is fully playable right now, but needs more work to be presentable. 

Monday, 26 August 2019

New Five Leagues expansion available


https://www.wargamevault.com/product/286930/Roads-well-traveled-A-Five-Leagues-expansion 



This expansion for Five Leagues From the Borderlands dramatically expands the Roadside Encounters mechanic in the core rules.

The worlds of fantasy tales are always filled with interesting, memorable and occasionally dangerous travelers and our campaign games should be no different.

The existing tables have been expanded to include new results, allowing for more variety and more things the person might want from you.

Some existing results have been tweaked to be more interesting as well.

Players have remarked positively on the ability to make Friends with travelers, but they haven’t been that easy to get an advantage from.

We’ve updated that system to make it a bit more helpful to the player.

There are also more opportunities to have roadside encounters now.

Most excitingly this pack adds 30 unique encounters ranging from a treasure hunter joining you for a bit to the local drunkard wanting someone to hang out with.

These new encounters can grant you rewards, new problems to deal with or a welcome respite fro the merciless world.

Some are simply events that happen, while others give you decisions to make.

The new rules, updated tables and unique encounters are all integrated into the new encounter table, allowing you to take full advantage of this pack.

Players who have their rules printed in a binder can simply replace the “Roadside Encounter check” pages in the rulebook with the pages from this supplement.

The pack is written for the 2nd edition rules, though it should be usable with 1st edition with very little adjustment.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Assorted news, updates, thoughts etc.

As the summer is winding down, I thought it was time to take stock of things.


* * *
First, if you don't receive email from the Wargame Vault, we have a "going back to school" sale going on.
As the kids go back to school and busy themselves with homework (in theory) or hanging out with their friends (more likely) , there's usually a bit more hobby time.
Perfect time to start a new project!

All of these codes are for a game for 9.99 and they will probably run through to the end of the month.

5 Leagues https://www.wargamevault.com/browse.php?discount=9bef03e42f 

* * *
Five Leagues 2nd edition has been doing quite well and feedback has been pretty much all positive.
It's also been hanging out in the top sellers spot on Wargame Vault for quite a while.

Thank you everybody for your support.

We will be reviewing more of the original supplements for update/conversion. The challenge is in determining how much to add / change vs just checking for compatibility and stamping it "okay for 2nd edition".

* * *
Updates to Five Klicks have been coming pretty fast.
I am going to not touch anything this week, before uploading a new version, just so people have some time to settle in and get more games in. 

* * *
I've gotten some guesses as to the future RPG project and what it might be. 
If you haven't keyed in yet, it involves a certain aquatic bird. Maybe. (Definitely) 

* * *
Occasionally I get email from a fan of this or that game and they are surprised at a different game I've done is so different.
F.x. some players were surprised at the open-ended nature and "vagueness" of the Squad Hammer titles, others missed solo options in Renegade Scout or Laserstorm etc.

That's inevitable, since we have so many titles but I feel it's important to note that the "Weasel way" of gaming is not to repeat the same idea over and over again.
Sometimes a given idea or concept has legs and can be re-used (Five Parsecs, FiveCore and Hammer are all "families of games") but ultimately, I don't believe in a single system to rule them all. 

* * *
With that being said, I sometimes get a question if there's something brand new on the way: A completely new system and game engine etc.
The answer right this second is no, I am taking some time to consolidate my position, build on our successes and go back and update assorted lines. 
That includes new versions of some very old titles, as well as more support material in general.

I do have ideas for something brand new (as always) that I think could be super cool, but it'll be a little bit before I want to delve into that, as it'd be a massive endeavor.

* * * 
What have I personally been playing lately?

Unfortunately not a lot of war gaming outside of testing things, though I've been dabbling with Columbia Games "Battlelust". 
We're several months into a very fun Harnmaster RPG campaign and just started a small side game with two friends of myself and my wife.


Friday, 16 August 2019

Project Dread Onion Dog

This project is far enough along that I feel I can talk about it now.


The title of the blog post is just a code-word for now, because I was feeling silly.
There is an actual name, but I'm not sharing that until we're a touch closer.


So what is the project?

Well, it's an RPG project.
It'll be a retro-clone of sorts of a venerable Nordic role playing game.

What all is it going to include?
Well, ideas change but right now, the goal is:

* A skill-driven RPG derived from BRP roots.
No classes or levels: Make a character and develop them as you see fit.
Improve as you adventure and train, based on the actions in-game.

* Quick character creation that still produces a well rounded character, with a mixture of random rolls and player choices.

* Combat that is fast, yet has enough detail to be interesting.

* A complete game with mass combat rules, creatures, magic item creation etc.

* A logical, consistent game system that isn't driven by tons  of special cases.

* A flexible, open-ended magic system.

* Gritty game play with room for heroics.

* "Cosmopolitan" game play where characters can be from a number of interesting species and places.

* A built-in game world with a mixture of recognizable fantasy tropes and creative ideas.  A loving homage to "kitchen sink" fantasy worlds but with a more cohesive feel.

* Also a game world where we hope players will read about it and immediately want to make a character from one of those places.

* * * * *

I realize that the above probably sounds fairly vague.

So let me try to explain it this way:

The trends of roleplaying right now tend towards one of three things in my view:

*The OSR, with a big emphasis on random encounters, survival-dungeon crawling and player-over-character approach.

*Indie/story games, with their emphasis on precise marriage of theme and mechanics and telling of specific story experiences.

*"Big Traditional" games like 5E and Pathfinder (2 now) with a focus on chains of tactical combat experiences and precise encounters.

What we're working on is not any of those.

Instead it is (hopefully):

*A style of game where a reasonable degree of realism and simulation is viewed as a positive.

*A game where characters are expected to have a place in the world and not simply be blank slates.

* Encouraging a play style where it is understood that fantasy adventure is about many things: Dialogue, sword fighting, exploration and excitement.

* Exists in a game world that facilitates adventure but also feels like it was alive before the players came along.

* A game that evokes a sense of fairytale adventure:
If the stories of Conan and Barsoom and Lankhmar are the building blocks of the OSR, this is the stories of Middle Earth, Sparhawk and Lyonesse.

* * * * *

What we're hoping to do is around 200 pages, including a complete game setting, world map, character sheet and an introductory adventure.

We may try to do a POD version as well, that remains to be seen.

It's VERY unlikely there'll be a kickstarter or anything like that.
It's possible we'll have a beta test version.
If so, it'll be done NWG style where you buy the beta for a reduced cost and then get a discount on the final game.

* * * * *

Answering a few obvious questions:

Q: Why would this be better than [insert BRP game here]?

A: I think this will sit nicely in a spot where there's more "meat" than something like OpenQuest but be a bit smother than most versions of Runequest.

Q: Can you tell us exactly what game you are retro-cloning?

A: If you haven't figured it out, I'm not telling.

Q: How much original content will there be?

A: The game world is 100% our own creation. Mechanically we're trying to lean on the source material but the goal isn't to be a precise copy (which would be pointless)

Q: There's already 10 billion roleplaying games on the market, why don't you just publish the 47th new take on B2 instead?

A: The reason to do anything creative is because you want to do it.

Q: Is this a solo project?

A: No, it's a collaboration with someone.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Updates and news

Several updates to Five Klicks have come out, so make sure you have the most up to date version downloaded.
If you are wondering about what changed, check the changelog on the final page.
At the moment, since page numbers often change from version to version, it's not really practical to list what pages things were changed on, I apologize.

If you didn't pick up the new rules yet, make sure you do so at :
https://www.wargamevault.com/product/284182/Five-Klicks-from-the-Zone?src=hottest 

Renegade Scout players can rejoice in the Fighting Vehicles expansion, offering 13 pre-built vehicles (complete with profiles, weapon load-outs, variations and points costs compatible with the Elite Pack values), as well as a few new gadgets and background information.

It is available here:
https://www.wargamevault.com/product/285647/Renegade-Scout-Fighting-Vehicles-of-Unified-Space?src=newest_recent


Sunday, 28 July 2019

Post apocalyptic skirmish campaigns?



Greetings gamers, I hope your weekend went well.

There's 2 requests that are made all the time when it comes to our "Five [units of measurement]" series of solo games.
One will be discussed later but the other is post apocalyptic gaming

Well, wait no more because Five Klicks from the Zone is here.

Take a squad of hard-nosed survivors, delve into the forbidden zones and reclaim civilization from the mutants, the warlords and whatever lurks in the rubble.

As you play, your squad will gain experience, find cool loot and face off against dreadful enemies, all perfectly adapted for a fun solo gaming experience (or bring a friend and split the squad!)

* * * * *

This is not the final version of the rules.

We are doing a public development where new versions will be made available on a very regular basis.

Right this moment, the rules contain the core of tactical game play with a fully playable but VERY simple campaign section. Over the coming weeks, the content will be expanded with all the lovely campaign action and D100 tables you expect.

Buying the game now gives you the following benefits:

* You get to see the game as its being developed and can provide feedback and suggestions on each part as its added.

* You get the game for 10 dollars rather than the final price of 15.

* In addition, I am throwing in a copy of Five Parsecs: Salvage Crew as a freebie. Cool huh?


So go grab it. 10 dollars gets you into the beta and you can start setting up a squad and testing the tactical environment tonight!

Then as each day goes by, more and more content will appear until you have the final game in your hands.

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/284182/Five-Klicks-from-the-Zone

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Renegade Scout Elite Pack

"Old School" gaming is all about playing games your way and Nordic Weasel games most definitely embrace that as much as I can.

The new Elite Pack just released for Renegade Scout offers a host of new options for your games:

The Strange Terrain and Strange Worlds tables in the rulebook caught a lot of peoples eyes, so I've expanded both of them with 10 more options each.
You can use a D20 to pick or just pick whatever you haven't tried yet.

I've added a Blitz Mode.
This is a set of game options allowing for both faster and much bigger games.
By using simplified movement, combining injury/armor into a single roll and otherwise stream lining things, you could easily play a huge game and be done in a reasonable time.
Blitz is also suitable for players who want to play a normal sized game with a couple of squads, but like things to zip along for a lunch break game.

Next up, we have War Mode.
This is essentially the opposite: A slower paced, more "gritty" way to play the game that incorporates suppression, lingering demoralization and greatly emphasizes combined arms warfare.
If you want a muddy, nasty scifi war game, give this a shot!

Both modes are built so you could extract a few rules if you like.
You might want to use the suppression token mechanic from War Mode but also adopt the combined kill roll from Blitz Mode. Who knows?

Finally the points system.
This isn't a full "build system" in the sense of tallying each stat point and multiplying by whatever.
Rather it offers a points value for every alien in the rulebook, all the weapons and vehicles, so you can build some squads.
Personalities can be constructed as well.

If you like using points to prepare an army in advance, I think you'll find the value of RS will go up quite a bit.

With time, I'd like to look into full blown army lists but I am not promising anything.

You can grab the new expansion below

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/284012/Renegade-Scout-Elite-Pack?src=newest_recent

If you are new to Renegade Scout and this has made you decide to delve in, you can also get the rulebook and Elite pack for a few bucks off

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/284013/Elite-Scout-BUNDLE?src=newest_recent

Friday, 26 July 2019

A few questions I get sometimes

There's a couple questions that crop up occasionally, so I thought I'd take a moment to answer them.

* Is Nordic Weasel a one-man operation?

Mostly yes.
I get help from assorted people particularly with testing, feedback, photos etc. and games with "fluff" text often feature some writing from friends or my wife.

All the grunt work and I'd say 90% of the design work is all me though.

* Is Nordic Weasel Games your day-job?

Yes, it is.
People get surprised at that but yes, NWG makes enough to pay our rent and car bill each month, though it's hardly a luxurious existence.
It does mean everyday is "casual Friday" in the office though.

* Do you pay artists?

I do pay for artwork yes.
Photos of miniatures is typically not something I pay for, though I am happy including links to blogs, websites, painting services etc.

* What programs do you use?

I started out using Gimp and LibreOffice.
Currently I use the default stuff on the Mac: Pages, Keynote and Photos.

* Have you ever written for someone else?

I have never written a game as a freelancer, though I'd consider it in the right circumstances.

* Have you ever been involved with games other people have written?

A few times yeah, usually through feedback and helping the rules be clearer and sharper.
If you want to contract me for such services, email me.

* Are the music lists in your games real?

Yeah, it's generally the albums I listened to while doing most of the writing.
I might add an extra album if it's something that really fits the topic.

* Why do you write so many games?

I have a lot of ideas.
For marketing purposes, it might make more sense to write one game for a topic and then just sell that but I can't work like that.
I know that sometimes put people off, because it can be confusing trying to keep up on all that but if I am still selling it, it's because I think it's a good game.

You can make a tidy sum producing one core engine and then just churning out variations of that, but that's not the Weasel way :)

* How do your games typically start out?

Most just start with a very rough mechanical idea.
FiveCore literally rests on "what if you just rolled and saw if it was a 1 or a 6",
No End in Sight started with the "roll to cross contested space" rule and so forth.

* Are you ever going to do a full blown RPG?

Not impossible. I have thoughts.

* What do you think about [insert hot button issue here] ?

Probably nothing I'm interested in discussing.
I'm a "leftist SJW beta" or whatever the current terminology is, so if you must know what I think in order to decide what games to play, there you go.


Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Hammer of Democracy updates

A few tweaks to Hammer of Democracy.
We're still short on some of the initial goals (solo rules and "hero" characters for backers) but stay patient.

The most notable update is the addition of Polish troops with 5 vehicles and some guidelines on rating your grunts.
The Soviets receive stats for the 76mm regimental gun and the BA 10 armored car, Americans get the M18 "Hellcat" tank destroyer, Germans get the Sdkfz. 222 armored car and the Brits can sport a Crusader with a 6 pounder for a bit of desert fun.

Additionally, I've gone ahead and removed the "Weak HE" trait from the low calibre gun.
The trait was originally intended for things like high velocity guns that had poor HE performance (and ironically still needs to be added for those). The 37mm pea-shooters already do very little damage, so there's no need to double-dip.
Points costs have been adjusted to reflect the removed trait.

Panzerfaust were probably a bit too good. Now they require a 9 to hit at 6" range.

As scenario clocks were a bit long, the roll has been changed to 3D6x4 minutes.

Also infantry anti-tank weapons now have a points value. I have no idea what I was thinking there.


Hope you all enjoy the new goodies!

Monday, 1 July 2019

Five Leagues PDF and a general clarification.

First, I've had someone point out that the Five Leagues 2nd edition PDF requests a password if you try to edit it.
That's not intentional, but give me a day or two to get that figured out.

I know people like to edit PDF"s to add their own notes, book marks etc. and I have no intention of messing with that stuff.


Second, I occasionally get questions about printing.

You of course have permission to print out your games through any service you like.
I have spoken to people who have had trouble in some stores, because of IP/Piracy concerns.
Some of my games have a note added specifically stating that printing is allowed, but if you run into any trouble, proof of purchase from Wargame Vault should help.
I am also happy to provide any proof or info needed.

Third, on the same topic, I get questions about what you can do with the game legally.

My answer is that you can print out such hand-outs as you need to run the game at a club etc. provided the handouts aren't basically replacing the need for the book.

Usually printing out the relevant tables will be fine.

Newer titles include a Permissions section specifying exactly what you can and cannot do.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

A sample encounter in Five Leagues 2

Lets take a look at how we figure out our encounter in Five Leagues.

I am adventuring (i.e. looking for trouble, so I roll D100 and a 83 gives me a Roadside AND a Combat encounter.
(and since this is an example, if I hadn't rolled that, I would probably cheated to showcase both, but today the dice were with me).

Roadside

This means we met someone interesting while traveling.
The D100 roll gives us a Pilgrim, headed to or from some holy place.

We could just ignore them, but let's chat them up.

Another roll suggests they are Polite. We talk for a few, but they don't end up contributing any benefits or hazards to our campaign.

We thank the nice gentleman/lady and move on.

Battle

We're facing off against the most serious Threat to the nearby village: In our case thats Outlaws.

A roll for the exact type gives us Looters. General hooligans out to steal stuff.
Well, thats just why we're here. Only authorized looting is permitted in this kingdom!

The die roll for the encounter situation says we've found their camp.
That means a bit of a tougher fight, so we have the option of sneaking away.
Doing so risks the Threat level increasing, as the bandits loot the locals, so we'll fight it out.

When rolling for the number, I get a 3. Looters always add +2 and we add +1 since its a camp, so 6 enemies in total. That's not too bad.
As its a camp, they will also have a Captain present, as their leader and we won't roll for any Personalities then.

We'll have a couple quick rolls for the setup, but since Im not taking pictures of anything, we'll skip that here.

I do get to roll to see if I can Seize the Initiative.
My 2D6 roll is an 11 and I get +1 since Im raiding them. Thats easily over the 9 required, so I get a bonus turn basically, since we take them by surprise.

Options

I decide to roll for Variations. I roll 3D6 scoring a 1, 4 and 6.
Well, the dice are keen on showing off today, since this means I get to give the enemy both a Strength and a Flaw.
The Strength is that one of the enemies is a Heavy Hitter: He'll get a bonus to punch through armor. I'll need a suitably beefy model for that.

On the flipside, another enemy is a Wimp. If he takes a hit, he'll flee the battle.

I decide I want to go full hog on the random factors, so I am also going to roll up an Oddity.
An 18 on the D100 table gives me Gloom: The battle takes place in the dark, which drastically limits missile fire, prevents characters from Dashing and penalizes Seize the Initiative rolls (though i still made it).

Since Looters have no archers and the war band typically does, this works mostly to their advantage, but we should still have a decent chance against them.


Process

This probably took about 5 minutes to do and we now have a nice little tabletop scenario to play through.

Rewards

Well, let's say we win.

First, if we held the field we can roll for an Unusual Find.
We find a sack of interesting stuff, offering a bonus Loot roll later. Cool!

Second, we can roll to reduce the Threat level in the region. As we cleared a camp, we need to roll a 3 or better which we do, so we reduce the Threat from 4 to 3.
Since we killed a Captain, we get an extra chance to roll a 6 and it succeeds, so we drop Threat down to a 2.

Now... Loots!
A camp raid means we got 3 rolls and that sack gives us a fourth. Not bad.

The first roll is an enchanted item: A Thorn of Ice!
This is a handy one use item, which can turn a character immune to damage for 2 turns. Not bad if you have to hold up a troll or something.

The second roll is some silver jewelry.
The third is a talisman.

Finally, that sack turns out to hold 4 gold coins and a dose of energizing herbs.

Not a bad haul for wiping out a bunch of scoundrels I should think.

Monday, 24 June 2019

Five Leagues 2nd edition is here!

If you click back a few posts, you can see the FAQ but otherwise email me at nordicweaselgames@icloud.com if you have any questions at all.

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/280863/Five-Leagues-from-the-Borderlands-2nd-Editio?src=hottest 

If you are ready to get your fantasy gaming on, how about 150 pages of jam-packed fantasy action?
The best thing is the core rules didn't get any longer, meaning all the extra page count is straight up gaming material: New loot, new enemies, new possibilities, new trouble to get in.
More ways for your campaign to unfold than ever before.


Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Rolling up a warband in Five Leagues 2

Let's work through the process of creating a new war band to play with.

The broad strokes should be mostly the same as in the first game, but a few things have been tweaked.

We're going with the default Challenge Level for this one, so we'll have 4 Heroes and 4 Followers.

Hero 1:
The base profile is:
Agility 1
Speed 4
Combat 0
Toughness 3

Four D20 rolls later and we have:

+1 to Speed, 2 Gold Coins in the pocket and the Foraging and Thick Headed skills.

Seems like some sort of ranger type. We'll call him Ragnar.

Hero 2:

+1 Toughness, has a Quick Sword (reroll 1's in melee).

I am imagining a duellist. We'll call him Sturgin.

Hero 3:

+1 Speed, +1 Agility, 3 Gold Coins, Leadership Skill.
Has 1 point each of Will and Luck.
Obviously the leader of the war band. She'll be Aray.

Hero 4:
+1 Agility. 3 Gold Coins. Teaching Skill.
Seems like a monk type might work here, so how about Tuck ?

Hero gear
We can stash all the coins together in a single pool of 9. That should keep us going for a little bit.

We can give two of our heroes a Quality weapon so I give Ragnar a Longbow and Aray gets a Bastard Sword.

The other two will have Basic weapons so Tuck picks up a Standard weapon (staff) and Sturgin gets a Self bow to give us some more missile fire.

We can give one hero Full Armor (Aray), one hero Partial (Sturgin) and the rest get Light Armor.
In addition we get one helmet and one shield.
I'll give both the Sturgin and make him a bit of a tank.

Followers:
These always get the base profile.
The flavor table gives us:
A wily rogue, two angry villagers and a militia man.

With the equipment selections available, we give the rogue a self bow and militia armor.
The militia man gets a standard weapon and light armor.
The villagers get standard weapons and no armor.

Unusual backgrounds
Though we could just choose, I make a random roll instead and get one of the villagers to get an unusual background roll.
Turns out he's a Big Guy: He gets +1 Toughness, any armor worn must be purchased specifically for him and he can't Dash.

Final steps:
I roll for gold and get 5 more coins for a total of 14.
To this, I add the number of Heroes giving me a final of 18.

We get two doses of Healing Herbs in our backpack.

I pick Aray as my Avatar figure adding 1 more Will and Luck to her.
I pick Sturgin to be the Retainer: Basically a loyal henchman who won't bail on us.

Rolling for Story Points gives me....1. Ouch.

And with that, we're ready to go adventuring!

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Five Leagues 2 is coming

I've mentioned it on the Discord and in passing elsewhere, but I thought it was time to make an official announcement now that we're close enough it's nearly done.

Five Leagues From the Borderlands is getting an absolutely massive update.
In fact, it's big enough that it's going to be it's own edition.

Since you'll have a ton of questions, I thought I'd address them here:

How did this come about?

In addition to reading emails I received since the game was released, I recently asked for (and received) a ton of feedback on what people liked, didn't like etc. in the rules.
While much of it was all over the place (for every person who liked weapon styles, someone else didn't) there were also several topics most people agreed on.

While working on Squad Hammer stuff, I sat down to do a series of small updates to the rules to fix some of the problems most people had agreed upon.
But as I worked on it, it kept expanding until finally it was clear that this was going to be a tremendous overhaul.

Why a new edition instead of a free update?

Simply because there's enough new content here to basically be a brand new game.

What if I just bought the old one?

If you picked up Five Leagues during the sale, you'll get a discount code to buy the new game cheaper.
That way nobody should feel cheated.

What has improved?

The list of changes has something like 70 entries on it, so I won't go over them line by line here.
A few that stands out:

* A ton of the fiddly extra die rolls have been reworked, so they are now handled more elegantly or as part of another, existing roll.

* Progressing in the campaign is faster now, so actually finishing campaigns should be a little less brutal. Conversely, character progression has been slowed a little bit, so you won't max out quite so fast.

* Several skills have been reworked to be more useful.

* New town options like asking for blessings or crafting weapons.

* Small tweaks to combat, making it a bit easier to deal with high Toughness opponents and making outnumbering a more useful tactic.

* Missile troops can run out of ammo, preventing them from dominating the battle as much.

* You have more options to avoid encounters, if you run into something you can't handle.

* More options for enemy leadership, including Sergeants and Lieutenants.

* Story Points have more explicit uses and there's a few more ways to regain them, in order to encourage their use.

* A ton of tweaks everywhere. Almost every aspect of the game has been touched up in some way, whether its fixing a quirky rule, improving wording and readability etc.

Any huge changes then ?

The biggest one:
Weapon styles are gone. Now you just pick specific weapon types.
I went back and forth on this, but ultimately I felt that while weapon styles had been a cool idea, the execution never quite worked out and I think people felt uncertain about how it really worked.

The new weapon system is easier to work with and should help capture the strengths of the old system.

So what is new then?

* There's now three separate encounter lists for each Threat type. This also means there's a bunch of new enemies to fight and many have received unique characteristics.

* Terrain setup is now discussed explicitly. (Sorry, I don't know what I was thinking)

* Your avatar can now have a loyal retainer.

* A "Village event" table has been added, similar to the random events in Five Parsecs.

* Players who like randomness can now roll up random variations to the enemies (fancy fighting a sneaky zombie or a wimp barbarian?) and random battle conditions like fighting in a haunted forest or walking into an on-going battle between rival forces.

* A ton of new loot including enchanted items, spell scrolls etc.

* Am optional section with monsters you can fight, from ogres to dragons, suitable for scenario-oriented players. It also includes a random-monster generation system.

* Challenge levels allowing you to play easier or harder campaigns.

* Characters can start with an unusual background which can influence their progress.

* If pushed to the brink, the enemy might mount a last stand where you get to fight their Boss.

* Probably a bunch more stuff I forget. Seriously, it's huge.

Do I have to learn everything all over?

No. While I've touched up pretty much everything, the core mechanics still work the same.
If you already know how to move and fight in the rules, that's all largely the same.

Will all this new stuff make the game super complicated?

A lot of it is integrated into the game flow pretty well.
The more detail-oriented new things (like enemy variations) are optional so players can choose how much they want to keep track of.

Can I carry over my current campaign?

You should be able to, but you'll need to translate your old weapons into equivalents under the new system.
My recommendation is that you take the opportunity to create a fresh war band.

Will the old expansions still work?

Most should work fine. Anything related to encounters should have no problem at all.

The main thing that will require tweaking is any weapons you can find, but most should be fine if you just apply the rules as is.
I'll evaluate them one at a time and post any updates needed.

Will you update the new version after it comes out?

With so many new things, it's inevitable that post-release tweaks become needed.
We will update the new rules to address bugs, balancing tweaks etc. just like we always do.

Will the old game receive any more updates?

Unlikely except for bug fixes.

What do you expect it will cost?

At the moment, I am expecting 15 dollars. It will depend on final page count.

So what is the page count then?

Not certain yet. Probably around 130 pages or so.

What popular fan requests did not make it in?

Mostly things that I felt either couldn't be done without dramatically overhauling the game assumptions or stuff that I'd love to do, but which really requires its own full expansion.

* Dungeon crawling (too much page count for what is basically a completely different game mode. We'll tackle it later)

* Spell caster characters (you can learn spells from finding rare scrolls now. Having player spell casters may happen in an expansion but it needs to be handled very carefully to avoid them becoming a mandatory inclusion in the war band)

* City adventures (Probably needs its own expansion to do justice)

* Animals (I really wanted to do this one, but if the players get horses so do the bad guys and that increases the barrier to entry for players without existing miniatures collections. It'll happen eventually)

* Big battles (again, needs its own supplement)

Thursday, 13 June 2019

So you want to be a designer?

You want to write games? Gaming stuff? Scenarios? Army lists?

Cool. You can.
You can literally sit down right now and do it.

It's like anything else in life: Maybe you'll have a knack for it and it just comes naturally. Maybe it turns out you don't quite have the mindset and you gotta work harder.
Ultimately, it's usually a question of hours put in. Work more at it, the results will improve.
Try to do new things. Challenge yourself. Do things you're told are impossible.

Here's the thing though:

Along the way, you may find all manner of short-cuts to success (here defined as "making some sales).
They're appealing exactly because they're easy.

You can hitch yourself to a marketing fad.
"Old school dungeon crawling fantasy RPG" will earn you 50 sales even if you have literally nothing new to say on the topic.
Solo miniatures gaming seems to be blowing up right now and there's room for plenty more there.
Just make sure you're on the train when it's going up hill, not when it's coming back down.

You can tie yourself to a brand or product identity.
Plenty of companies have options out there to make stuff with their name on it.
If what you burn for is [system X] then that's an easy path.
They'll ultimately control your fate of course. What's the thing Darth Vader said about deals changing?

You can cash in on internet culture wars.
Find something that you know will make someone somewhere mad. Write that.
Wait for someone to write a blog post saying your game is garbage.
Rally the people who dislike that person and you can roll in protest-purchases.
"Pay me 9.99 to fight SJW's" is a deal you can easily make a car payment or two on.

* * * * *

Ultimately though there's another solution:

Write stuff you actually care about and feel strongly about.

I strongly believe that good design and passion will always be recognizable.
More importantly, it'll give you an identity as a creator that people can connect to.

More importantly while you may get a few less sales, you'll be getting sales from people who are interested in what you have to say.

And that's why you're here right?
Because you have something to say about gaming?

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Why do you charge for beta versions?

Over the years, I've tried more or less everything I can think of.
Sometimes it's just to see how something works, sometimes it's to satisfy my own curiosity.

We've done Pay What You Want products, given things away, charged up front, a few crowd-funds etc.

A potentially controversial stance is that I've increasingly opted to charge for beta versions of games: From a dollar or two to 5 bucks or so.

"What is this outrage? Why should I pay to test your broken-ass game?" I hear you say.

Sure. I hear you back.

I have mostly settled on this for a couple of reasons:

First, to me a beta version is something substantial enough that it could be a game.
If it's a full game with the sort of content you'd get from the competition but lacking testing, I don't feel bad charging a couple of bucks for it.

You know what you are getting (it says beta right there!) and you can decide based on previous products if it's worth the risk.

If the draft is so rough I am not sure it's even functional, it never sees the light of day outside my personal circle of critical eyes.

Second, I find that the level and quality of feedback is simply better if I charge.
Pay what you want or freebies are great but it seems people also don't feel invested in it.
If people had to put in their paypal account, there's more of a sense of investment (even if its just the price of a cup of coffee).

When I've charged more than "coffee money" for an early version, I try to do a discount code or something later on, so you can view the early version as a buy-in to the full one.
That also has the advantage that if something falls through, you still have the initial version.


I'm sure we'll continue different options and ideas in the future, but ultimately that's why I prefer charging for the beta version of a game.

Friday, 31 May 2019

Where all can I catch Nordic Weasel stuff?

The internet is a wild sprawling place and you can't just jump on ICQ and hope for the best any longer (or so I am told).

You can follow Nordic Weasel or get in touch in any of the following ways:

* The main blog at https://fivemennormandy.blogspot.com for news, updates, musings about game design etc.

* If you use MeWe, you can follow me at https://mewe.com/i/ivansorensen
I do respond to chat questions on there, though not always instantaneously.

* We have our own forum sub-section on the https://www.thewargameswebsite.com where you can post questions and share battle reports.
New releases are also usually posted to the news page there.

* If you use Discord, come check us out at https://discord.gg/Z5Argrg where myself and other gamers hang out, chat about miniatures, share pictures of our projects, discuss rules and generally goof off.
Note this is strictly a politics and meme free zone but if you want to chat with myself or other gamers in real time, it's great fun.

* We also have a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Nordicweaselgames/ 
This is run by my wife who filters any questions through to me and posts up the responses.
At the moment, facebook chat is not an option to contact me.

* Of course you are always welcome to email me. If you have my old Gmail address, I still get email from there but to help make sure I don't miss your correspondence, please send it to nordicweaselgames@icloud.com and allow a day or two for a response.

If you have several questions (or very detailed ones) or in-depth feedback, I prefer to receive it through email since its both easier for me to respond to and easier to save for future reference.


I occasionally get suggestions from fans that it would help us to engage with this or that social media platform, website or online service.
I appreciate those suggestions and I do take them into account, but at the moment I am not looking to expand our internet footprint.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

So what is involved in changing a rule?

Since I've been tinkering with Five Leagues lately and running my mouth on social media about publishers not updating their games, I thought I'd be fair and give a run-down of what is actually involved in updating a game rule.

First, you gotta write and test the new rule of course.
If we're updating an existing game, that probably isn't too bad since you know what was wrong or missing and you may have already tried the new option.

Second, we gotta replace the old rule with the new one.
Copy paste right?

Third, we gotta check to see if the old rule is referenced anywhere else in the rules. If so, we gotta go back and fix those.

Fourth, we gotta check any game examples and update those.

Fifth, we gotta make sure we didn't break anything. After all, some game rules feed into each other. So back and check every related feature.

Sixth, does your game have points values? Purchase costs? Other balancing shenanigans? Did you just change the effectiveness of something in the game? Time to evaluate that again.
Don't forget that changing one thing can cause a cascade effect in the system.
Does the new rule make troop transports weaker? Well, now all transport vehicles AND the grunts they carry might be over-valued.

Seventh, is the new rule longer? If so, you might just have screwed up the page it's on.
Know how games always have like 2 lines of a paragraph awkwardly hanging off the next page?
Yeah, that looks wretched so let's avoid that.

Lastly... did you push every thing out one page? Your table of contents is now messed up and needs fixing.
Did you write one of the 3 games ever released in the history of nerds that has a table of contents? That's also broken now.


So yeah, updating or replacing a rule can be a ton of work.
But it's still better than keeping known errors around for years in my opinion.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

A few quick notes

A couple people emailed and were worried about the sale ending before they got paid.

I've opted to extend the sale until the 3rd of June, so if you want hot bundle deals, go get them.
Once this is over, it'll be a long time before we do another mega-sale.

Right now, almost everything we've done is on sale
https://fivemennormandy.blogspot.com/2019/05/anniversary-and-thank-you-to-all-of-you.html


A few of you leave comments on Blogger. For some reason, I have a bastard of a time actually responding to comments on here.
I do read your comments but if you need a reply from me, please email me instead.
Sorry about the trouble.

The best email for Nordic Weasel stuff is nordicweaselgames@icloud.com

Friday, 24 May 2019

Five Leagues player survey



Five Leagues player questions


Five Leagues from the Borderlands has proven to be a big success that players have really responded to.

In the interest of guiding where to go next, I wanted to ask some questions of you guys.


Feel free to write as much or as little to any of these questions.

If you have no strong opinion on a specific question, leave it out.


I am not committing to changing any one specific aspect of the game based on this survey.
If you ask 100 gamers about something, you will get 101 responses after all, but I will absolutely take your answers into account when developing or updating the rules and expansions.

If I didn’t specifically ask about a topic, feel free to write it in too.

Direct the responses to me at nordicweaselgames@icloud.com
I can't reply to blog comments for some reason, so please dont leave your responses here. I apologize for the trouble.


**The overall campaign structure

Do you feel the length of a campaign is too long?

We’ve recently tweaked the rules a little to make campaigns a bit shorter and easier to complete.

Is finishing campaigns and moving to the next one important to you or are you more interested in the individual battles?

**Is the campaign too easy/too punishing?

How do you feel the difficulty is?

We intend Five Leagues to be a challenging, tough experience but of course it also has to be fun and permit character development.

Is it too difficult to scrape by? Do you get too powerful too quickly? Is it too hard to level up?

Is loot too understated? Too rewarding? Are you swimming in gold or barely scraping by?

**The themes of the game?

Do you enjoy the gritty, low-fantasy feel we’ve taken so far?

Would you like to fight more fantastical beasties?

Would you like more interesting character abilities?

Do you prefer the game doubles down on the gritty faux-realistic approach?

Do you want more horror/dark fantasy elements? More high fantasy?

**Weapon styles?

Feedback on the weapon styles (one handed, two handed etc.) have been quite mixed.

Some players seem to really like them, some seem to find them too fiddly or difficult.

What is your view? Do you like them? Are any of them too good / too weak / too boring?

Would you rather replace them with more conventional weapon profiles?

Something else entirely?

**Skills
Do you find the skill system works well?

Any skills that are too good? Any that are too weak or never come up?

Would you rather have fewer, more dramatic skills or do you like the potential to have a lot of small skills for specific areas?

How do you like the idea of special skills acquired from playing specific expansion packs?

**Rules that clunk/rules that flow?

Looking purely at game mechanics, what rules in Five Leagues do you really enjoy/feel are innovative/give a great game experience?

What rules feel like they are not needed/too cumbersome/bog down the game?

**House rules?

Do you have house rules or tweaks you employ? If so, what are they?

**Automation?

As written, we intended Five Leagues to be playable by basically rolling the dice and following the rulebook.

In other words, the game will tell you what happens and you don’t have to make a lot of decisions about it.

Some gamers prefer a campaign where the player is expected to make up more stuff. This allows more features to be added to the campaign (for example a creature list without needing every creature to be on an encounter table) while also making the game less “pick up and play”.

How do you feel about that?

**Future directions?

Do you want the game to receive more wargame elements? (larger battles, leadership abilities, more detailed morale, troop types)

More RPG elements? (quests, character progression, traveling the world) ?

**Expansions?

Do you prefer smaller, cheaper expansions that can be slotted into an existing campaign or bigger expansions that form new campaigns of their own?

Would you want to see expansions that go outside the core game play? For example dungeon exploration, field battles, competitive play etc?

**Comparisons?

How do you think the rules compare to other, similar systems available? (solo fantasy/medieval campaign games)

Outside of production values and glossy books, What strengths does Five Leagues have over them?

What areas does the competition do better?

**Anything else on your mind?

Any other things you’d like to suggest?

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

NWG anniversary: Titles that never were or only were a little bit.

As I look back at the past 5 years, here are a few titles that didn't get used, things that started out differently etc:


Star-strike
One of approximately 50 billion titles me and my wife came up with for what eventually became Clash on the Fringe.
If I remember right, it's also the title of an RPG supplement, so we had to change it.

Only the dead
The working title for the very original 4 page draft of No End in Sight.
A reference to "Only the dead have seen the end of war".
I think I changed it because I was worried people would think it was a zombie game.

Afghan Soda can
An odd experiment in modern day squad warfare, based around very stylized battle commands.
Not sure it was playable at all.
Never released in any format I think.

Laserstorm
This one ended up being released, but it originally started life as a skirmish game where squads would consist of individually based figures.
A lot of the basic principles were the same though.

Dungeonhack
A power-driven dungeon duel game with a lot of different classes and whatnot.
Was pretty fun, but I ended up not being able to figure out how to make monsters work well and at the time I didn't want to write a strictly competitive game.

Monsterslayer
A solo fantasy game somewhat inspired by the Demon Souls video game.
Could be thought of as a proto-prototype of what became Five Leagues years later.
Had more detail but lacked gameplay.

Monday, 20 May 2019

What happened to ....

Over the years some games have come and gone from the Nordic Weasel line up.
I get questions about it, so I thought I'd share a few glimpses from the past as well as some insight into the process of writing games.

Basically, I try to do things a bit more public than some designers and companies do.
That means you often get more insight, we do a lot of public beta tests and so forth, which I think fans appreciate.
The downside is that if something does not seem like it's going to work out, or I don't think it's viable as a game or as a commercial product, you can feel a bit left out.

I still think on balance it's a better system, but there's always room to improve of course.

So what happened to that game?

In no particular order:

Fast and Dirty (FAD)
A game that still gets recommended in forum discussions when people ask about hard scifi rules.

I sold off the rights to the game and if you look online, you can find their take on the rules, which includes some changes, streamlining and detailing. It is, to my knowledge, also free.

I have not ruled out revisiting some of the base concepts again in the future, but it'd have to be done right and without feeling like it was too close to the original.

Trench Storm
Originally published by The Tin Dictator, the rights reverted to me for a while before being sold off.
I am unaware of the current status of the game right now.

I don't foresee having any projects in that vein. Trench Hammer has mostly taken that role.

Blast Pistol etc.
These "mini systems" were reasonably popular so they will return but things keep getting in the way.
I wanted to turn the disparate systems into a single, low-involvement skirmish system.

An orc too far
Response to this was very limited but the people who got into it really liked it.
I still hope to finish it some day.

Acrid smell of powder
Similar in that only a handful of people ever communicated any interest (though they did like it).
I think the presentation was too dull, so I will sit on this one for a while and then try to re-do it.

I worry that the game was too abstract for what it was trying to accomplish (and may have tried to tread the same ground as the black powder version of Blast Pistol, while doing it less well)